James MacDonald

James MacDonald Continues Tirade; Defends Using Hashtag “#JRgossipsl**”

By Julie Roys

Disgraced celebrity pastor, James MacDonald, continued his tirade against me and The Roys Report on Tuesday, repeatedly calling me “#JRgossipslut” and asserting that I am “NOT a Christian” but “an apostate.”

The fired and disqualified former pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel also posted a 1,600-word diatribe justifying his use of “sexual imagery” against me.

“If you bristle at the strong language toward this #JRGOSSIPSLUT . . . it is because you are not familiar enough with the biblical prophets, and your sensibilities are tuned to 2021 Western-world PC culture,” MacDonald wrote. “Or possibly you are a ‘red letter Christian,’ who doesn’t even read all the red letters and has created a cultural Christ apart from the biblical one.”

While saying he was confronting only me, MacDonald also called out “detractors” who “never do the right thing and meet with me face-to-face”; “former friends” who “betrayed my wife and me”; elders who destroyed “lives and reputations”; and “other HBC leaders/Pastors” who failed to do “their biblical duty” to reconcile and restore.

“My focus is completely and entirely upon the single catalyst for this destruction . . .” MacDonald wrote. “You would have to agree, I have let her prattle on for a long, long time—past the damage, past the destruction, past the fallout, and well into the healing.”

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MacDonald also referred to The Roys Report as a “millstone ministry” in his tweets and warned that those who support me will “share in her judgment.”

Responses overwhelmingly negative

The responses to MacDonald’s diatribe have been overwhelmingly negative.

Someone named Scott tweeted that he owned a book of MacDonald’s, which he was now planning to burn. “A supposed ‘man of God’ would be wise enough to literally never use that sort of language when referring to a woman,” he wrote.

A wife and mother, Angie Hodges, tweeted: “Didn’t you write a book called ‘Lord change my attitude before it’s too late’? Maybe it’d be good to pray that right now because this hashtag (#JRgossipslut) is gross.”

An anonymous account, Robin Robin, referenced reports by Chicago radio personality Mancow Muller and MacDonald’s former bodyguard, Manny Bucur, that MacDonald once tried to hire a hitman. Robin also noted MacDonald’s bullying of employees and Harvest Christian Academy students, and the “hot mic” recording in which MacDonald jokes about putting child porn on the computer of the then-CEO of Christianity Today.

“Did Paul & the prophets also put out a hit on their son in laws, lash out angrily bc a student in class wasn’t paying attention to them, plot to plant child pornography on an enemy . . . bully employees, etc, etc, etc…? Julie Roys is NOT our only source,” Robin tweeted.

Justin Sytsma, director of worship and outreach at a Presbyterian Church in Ontario, Canada, tweeted: “Hey James are you still upset that she exposed your evil, sinful behavior? Have you publicly repented of your public sin yet?”

The account @sbcotton simply tweeted a cartoon of MacDonald with the comment, “Very pastor indeed #MinisterOfTheGossip.”

Analyzing alleged “lies”

MacDonald claims he has evidence exposing all my “lies.” 

His tweets Tuesday indicate that he believes the independent audit Harvest Bible Chapel conducted, and on which I reported, reached false conclusions.

The audit found that the church had maintained two private checking accounts that gave MacDonald $3.1 million from January 2016—February 2019.

One was an “executive account,” which provided MacDonald with deferred compensation and also paid for some of his personal expenses, according to the audit. The other was a reserve account for Walk in the Word (WITW), MacDonald’s former broadcast ministry.

The church reported that $1.9 million from the WITW reserve account went to MacDonald and his family members for things like car repairs, motorcycles, hunting expenses, and clothing and eyewear for James.

Harvest said at the time of the audit that it was seeking reimbursement from MacDonald for expenses that never should have been paid with church funds. For other expenses, the church said it issued MacDonald W-2s.

Seemingly referring to those W-2s, MacDonald claimed in a tweet Tuesday, “HBC met with me for w2 meeting, 2/24/20 resolving all $104K of questions in 2 hours not millions Julie.”

However, according to an October Harvest Bible Chapel elder report, the resolution came because the church ceded Walk in the Word to MacDonald in an arbitration settlement.

“In the early stages of the arbitration, we indicated we would review certain financial expenditures with MacDonald,” the elders wrote. “The review process has been recently completed and the largest expenditures were under Walk in the Word which is now James MacDonald Ministries (JMM). The remaining amount has already been accounted for in previous tax filings.”

Also, as he did in an email over the weekend, MacDonald accused Harvest in tweets of stealing money and assets from Walk in Word (WITW). Yet analysis of transactions over the years shows that Harvest paid WITW tens of millions of dollars.

Until 2011, Walk in the Word (WITW) existed as a separate 501(c)3 radio ministry. However, WITW became a ministry of Harvest Bible Chapel on January 1, 2011. And according to Harvest’s 2010-2011 Financial Statement, WITW at that time granted $2.4 million in assets to Harvest and Harvest assumed more than $278,000 of WITW’s liabilities.

However, each year, Harvest gave 5% of its annual revenues to WITW—somewhere between $1.2 million and $1.65 million—according to former WITW Executive Producer Trey Morris.

Plus, in March 2014, WITW received $11.6 million in free airtime from Trinity Broadcasting Network due to the sale of Harvest’s property in Aurora.

According to Harvest’s 2015-2016 Financial Statement, Harvest sold the Aurora property to TBN for $15.6 million. TBN paid $4 million in cash to the church and the remaining $11.6 million was paid in television broadcast time for MacDonald’s WITW program. (The agreement with TBN went through 2022, but MacDonald removed WITW from TV and radio in 2019. The remaining $4.1 million in airtime was reportedly sold back to TBN from Harvest in 2019.)

The year after the Aurora sale to TBN, Harvest’s four-person executive committee signed an agreement giving all of WITW’s multi-million-dollar assets to James MacDonald, according to former Harvest elders Dan George and Mike Dunwoody. (According to George and Dunwoody, the full Harvest board never approved the executive committee’s agreement with WITW. Even so, Harvest gave all digital and physical assets of WITW to MacDonald in its 2020 arbitration settlement.)

More to come

MacDonald said in his statement Tuesday that he will “begin detailing the #JRgossipslut lies” on Wednesday and encouraged people to “stay tuned.”

In the first of his blogs, published this morning, MacDonald accuses me of not adequately reporting his “repentance” over the years. He specifically accuses me of leaving out of my exposé on Harvest, which was initially published in WORLD Magazine, the fact that in September 2014, MacDonald read a statement to his church, expressing repentance for excommunicating three former elders in a 2013 video.

MacDonald adds, “That (2014) statement was written by Dr. Erwin Lutzer (then with Moody Church), who with Dr. Colin Smith (The Orchard), led a private meeting of mutual forgiveness (at my request). It was a reconciliation I have never varied from, involving men with whom I would gladly meet again for grace and further healing.”

MacDonald’s claim about my failure to report his September 2014 statement is not true. In my initial exposé, I wrote: 

In September 2014, MacDonald said the church had reconciled “meaningfully and mutually” with the censured elders. He apologized for the harsh manner in which leadership had disciplined Phelps, Marquardt, and Slabaugh. The three former elders told WORLD they had accepted MacDonald’s apology—and WORLD happily relayed news of restoration.

“In exchange for an apology, we agreed to leave [Harvest] alone, and let the elder board bring about the necessary reforms,” the three former elders recently wrote in a joint statement.

But now the three elders believe they were misled: Marquardt told me he hasn’t seen evidence of reforms at Harvest, and instead has heard repeated stories of mistreatment. The five other signers of the 2013 letter likewise say they’ve seen no evidence that the character issues involving MacDonald have been resolved. I’ve also interviewed more than two dozen former staff, elders, and members of Harvest, including some who have left the church within the past two years. They similarly claim that MacDonald and other Harvest leaders have shown an ongoing pattern of relational and financial abuse, a lack of transparency, and outright deception.

MacDonald also claims that I have failed to report on his more recent repentance, which he claims has “been in the hands of HBC elders for more than two years.” At the same time, he writes, “You can’t repent of lies. Isn’t lying what people do so they don’t have to own their part in a conflict?”

In an article published last November, I did report on MacDonald’s “repentance.” I even published verbatim a statement MacDonald had posted, which explained his “repentance,” while also accusing Harvest Bible Chapel of stealing $6.6 million from WITW and running a campaign to destroy MacDonald’s reputation.

I noted in my article that I had spoken to dozens of key former Harvest staff and elders, and none of them reported that MacDonald had repented or apologized to them. To my knowledge, that has not changed.

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44 thoughts on “James MacDonald Continues Tirade; Defends Using Hashtag “#JRgossipsl**””

  1. James,

    The more macho you become the more ridiculous you look. The more you attack Julie the more you bring to the surface those of us who would happily meet you down a dark alley way to teach you some manners.

    This young woman is a gift to the church at a time when the need to pull back the veil to expose people such as yourself is so great.

    James, you are finished in public ministry. The best thing to do right now, is retire from public life, find God in the stillness, live simply and give yourself to prayer, fasting and seeking God.

    But most of all you need to pull back from these attacks on Julie.

  2. Great job on reporting these frauds and ravenous wolves found i the likes of this psychotic sociopath James McDonald

  3. Bonnie Lindblom

    “While saying he was confronting only me, MacDonald also called out ‘detractors’ who ‘never do the right thing and meet with me face-to-face’”…

    Did JMD wait until he had such a meeting with Julie before beginning his public campaign? What triggered this latest attack against Julie?

  4. Thank you for your work Julie. As sad and painful as it is, your work is invaluable and prophetic to the people of God. I thank God for you, and pray that he will protect and guide you.

  5. Rev. Warren M. Roy

    Has he ever considered the more he attacks someone who had exposed him the guiltier he looks?
    And was James MacDonald exposed in the 1990’s for having an affair? Or am I wrong? I gladly will stand corrected.
    I believe James needs to repent and step down. And definitely stop his attacks on Julie Roys!
    That isn’t cutting mustard with me! It makes him look guiltier because of his attacks.
    If one is falsely accused it is best to often pray for the accuser. And not go on a name calling attack.
    I have in recent weeks been thinking about the issue of Ravi Zacharias. I have weighed this issue of why we need to get rid of his material. I believe we should according to Acts 19:18-20. I know in the light of the cancel culture many people are hesitant to do so lest they be accused!
    Please also read Deut.7:25&26. Plus Psa,101:1-3. I have made a decision just his morning even before I had a chance to read this article it is time to clean up! To clean house.
    Sometimes as a preacher I take the attitude that I need to look at certain stuff in order to deal with the doctrinal errors. WEll I have decided that I want to have a clean house from things that are clearly cultish. No more Books of Mormons in my home! I need to clean them out.
    No more JW “Bibles”. It is time to clean house.
    There’s been plenty of stuff written by others that I can get help from in dealing with those cults.
    And some maybe wondering why I am saying this in the light of James MacDonald I have decided to if I find any of his books/literature, etc to clean house. Acts 19:18-20 gives the example!
    And if he is going to call people like Julie Roys bad names I think I need to pull away from all involvement I have ever had with him which is not much. I think if he is the man exposed for adultery in the 1990’s I may have read one of his tracts!
    In closing,

    Prov.22:24&25-“Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a
    furious man thou shalt no go:
    “Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.”

    1. In terms of having an affair, I think you are more likely thinking of Gordon MacDonald (in the late 1980s). He has repented admirably.
      James MacD has plenty of characteristics and actions that disqualify him from pastoring, but as far as I’m aware adultery is not among them.

      1. Warren Millard Roy

        Thank you. That is the man I mistook him with. I appreciate the correction. And as far as I know I really have no books or articles by James MacDonald to Acts 19:18-20.
        And the article I read by Gordon MacDonald I no longer have anyway.
        Thank you and I am glad to have my facts straight. God bless you

  6. Thank you for all these clarifications, Julie. I’ve followed this story for several years, but still couldn’t keep everything straight in my mind when I read all those accusations JM is making against you. I’m sure the clarifications will be ongoing, since he has stated that his mud-slinging will be ongoing.

    Anyone who claims the name “Christian” should speak with the grace and dignity that you continue to model. I hope James’s remaining followers can see what a reproach he brings on the Name of Jesus Christ.

  7. I would say if you love Jesus and still endorse serial abusers like James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll, you are enabling their behavior and share in their corruption. There comes a time for true repentance. In the meantime, be ye separate and touch not the unclean thing.

  8. Cody Laumeister

    Like other commenters, at this point the JMac situation is beyond outrageous and just extremely sad. It’s like watching a man choosing to enter damnation. For the sake of his soul, I hope the man is truly mentally ill, and not entirely responsible for his behavior.

    But Julie, you must also consider JMac a serious danger to you personally. He has apparently made serious inquiries into hiring a hit man in the past, and now you seem to have become the primary focus of his rage.

    I hope the FBI, as well as your local police, have been apprised of his history and his current obsession with you as his chief nemesis, and that they are advising you and helping you take all prudent steps to protect yourself.

  9. Warren Millard Roy

    Thank you for this thought-provoking article. It is getting me to think more about some of the ways I have done things.
    I am not against rebuking sin even from the pulpit(Isa.58; Prov.27:5; 1 Tim.5:19&20; 2 Tim.4:1-5; Titus 1:13)! I recognize that Jesus Himself did use strong terms rebuking the scribes and Pharisees in such passages as Matt.22&23 and Luke 11:37-54.
    But my question. Is James MacDonald calling Julie Roys those names to either hurt her or to possibly make a name for himself? Or is he doing out of live and concern for her?
    I find this very thought provoking and challenging. I plan to apologize to a lady I had some troubles with who I have called vicious names! I really regret it now! And I really regret the name I called her.
    So please keep me in prayer about this.
    So I thank you for this article.It has got me thinking and wanting to search the scriptures more(Acts 17:10&11)!
    God bless you!

    1. Andrew Thomas

      The name calling without proof (Jesus called out the wicked by name, after they exposed themselves), is a propaganda deflection technique, to dehumanize an accuser without directly addressing the accusations. You notice people are calling him out on this, but not asking about her specific allegations on his twitter.

      His response is to say “look at what I said before…” the issue with this he doesn’t directly discuss anything and laments the illegal recording that was released. It does not matter how the recording was made in relation to how it exposed his character, only legally does the recording come into question.

      Here is a strange coincidence, his abbreviation for the Home Church Network is HcN which is hydrogen cyanide.

  10. Gretchen Gallup

    Julie, why does James keep doing this to you? You have done nothing wrong! It makes me want to cry every time he attacks you like this. In the five years that I attended HBC in Rolling Meadows, the Lord must’ve blinded my eyes to the type of person he was. I’m glad that I’m at a place where Jesus is lifted up and the Word of God is preached. I just feel so terrible for you Julie…

  11. Paul Lundquist

    MacDonald has been written about before. He is Kurtz in “Heart of Darkness” and Weston in “Perelandra.” Now he lashes out, knowing that his time is short.

  12. Daniel Bifulk

    Mrs. Roys,

    I first heard of you in relation to the Ravi Zacharias scandal, in a kind of off hand way. Then you did an interview with Victor Marx, a man I highly respect. I’ve listened to your podcasts, and your book on my Audible Audiobook app. After that, I bought two copies of your book, and have listened to more podcasts, like the one with Mancow, who I’m a fan of.

    My opinion is that James MacDonald is behaving like an animal when he calls you this hashtag name. My hope is that he humbles himself, and repents.

    I think that our Lord is angry, and my hope is that He excises the evil from our churches, like James MacDonald and others in way that only He can.

    I highly respect you Mrs. Roys. Thank you for the work that you’ve done, and please keep on putting forth good work.

  13. Every once and a while we get a glimpse behind the curtain of what is really going on when the camera is off with our beloved “Christian” celebrity idols. They are certainly a foul bunch of vipers. Did not Jesus basically called those in His time as white-washed septic tanks? Take a good long look at what is really going on. Many of our idols are more shrewd then JMac, but this is what narcissism is really all about underneath the white paint. It demands an entitled position and it throws childish tantrums of rage when it is not fed what it wants. And do not waste your time calling such to repentance. Jesus did not bother so why should we?

  14. About six months ago, I casually remarked to a friend on Facebook that given the amount of con-artistry, double-dealing and outright thievery that takes place in the American church today (not to mention the barely acknowledged sex abuse and predatory behavior I suspected was going on all over the place) that it was a shame that it was left to the often besieged writers at Christianity Today and a few outspoken mavericks to patrol the faithful. My friend simply responded with links to the Roys Report and Ministry Watch to school me on how wrong I was to assume that the scoundrels weren’t being called to account. Out of curiosity, I checked them out, and, man, was I completely wrong! For weeks I went down a rabbit hole of top notch reporting on Ravi Z., SBC shenanigans, lying prophets, financial malfeasance in high places and all manner of unChristian behavior by big name pastors. As a journalist myself, I appreciate Julie Roys’ thorough documentation of the facts without fear or favor. I open each Roys Report confident that it will showcase top notch reporting that is both scrupulous about the facts and conscientious regarding its impact. The fact that a disreputable, disgraced and, frankly, ridiculous caricature of a preacher like James MacDonald feels comfortable calling Julie Roys a “gossipslut” reveals how much Americans in general, and not just American Christians need to be exposed to this level of critical reporting about the personalities and institutions that claim to be following Christ. We desperately needs folks who aren’t afraid to speak truth to the powers and principalities.of American Christendom. If Jan. 6 taught us anything, it’s that there are a lot of gullible Christians out there. Thanks for shining a light in very, very dark places, Julie Roys.

    1. Textbook example of Narcissistic and Antisocial Personality Disorders.
      So sad that innocent victims, including Julie, have been caught in his path.

  15. As Shakespeare said “Thou dost protest too much!” There is no one so vicious as a wounded narcissist. They wear their skin like a bubble, which, when pricked, gets destroyed. The healthy believer, when challenged, considers the feedback they get, receive what fits and discards the rest. The narcissist, who needs to be all good and all right all the time, has no inner core of confidence in who they are. As a result, they see anyone who pricks their fragile shell as the enemy and must, at all costs, destroy that person. To a narcissist, criticism, even slight, is like a reflection back from a mirror that exposes their flaws. They must destroy the mirror, discredit it as itself flawed, and persevere in a tyrant of nuclear counterattack. Julie, you are that mirror. Stay strong in the Lord and the power of His might.

  16. Joseph Pennies

    Hang tough Julie! You have so very much support. Thanks for keeping us informed. The truth can stand up to inspection. Gods wisdoms, blessings, and protection upon you, Julie!❤️🙏❤️

  17. I believe that not only is JM delusional, but he is dangerous both spiritually and physically. Julie, stay safe! May God protect you, and continue to be with you as you report the truth. We desperately need to see what you are shining light on! James MacDonald, Mark Driscoll and the others will one day stand in front of the Living God. And woe to them for their unrepentant sin. Keep fighting the good fight, Julie!

  18. Jeremiah Ames

    It appears that many dark personalities are now boldly proclaiming their evil, in the world.
    It seems the previous president emboldened people to let loose with their evil desires.
    He thinks he can trash Julie, and then tell other people they are wrong and don’t understand the Bible if they don’t agree with him. The Word is being profaned when people use it to support and justify their evil intentions.
    It’s not our place to judge these types of people, but we can now see much more clearly who they are, and avoid them. And always examine ourselves.
    Keep up the great reporting.

  19. Stephen Ringlee

    This is a sterling reason for increasing one’s financial contribution to the Roys Report! Keep up the good work.

  20. David Peterson

    Someone wondered about the timing of these attacks. Just possibly it’s related to the most recently reported abuses by JMac’s buddy Mark Driscoll. Keep Julie busy answering all the lies and she’ll have less time to report on @pastormark— according to Jmac another “wonderful Pastor”. BTW — notice his use of the capital P when he’s not using it as part of a proper noun?

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